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Cabela’s commits to Bristol development

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Bristol has caught the big fish.

Cabela’s, a Nebraska-based outdoor recreation retailer, has signed a deal with the city to buy 10 acres of land and build an 80,000-square-foot store at The Falls, a massive planned retail development.

“This is the moment everyone has been waiting for,” Bristol City Manager Dewey Cashwell said in a statement. “There should now be no doubt that Cabela’s is expanding its market to Bristol, Virginia.”

Cabela’s will be the first of two anchor stores at The Falls, a $200 million,1.47-million-square-foot retail center. Work on the Cabela’s site, near Exit 5 on Interstate 81, is expected to begin in June, with an anticipated opening date in October 2014.

The next step in the process, according to Cashwell, is to have development funding in place by mid-March, allowing the start of preliminary site work.

According to Cabela’s, the Bristol store will be built in its trademark style with an exterior of log construction, stonework, wood siding and metal roofing.

Cashwell believes Cabela’s land purchase agreement “will open many doors to negotiations with other nationally known retailers and restaurants.”

City officials say that development of The Falls property will occur in phases. When complete, the retail is expected to generate more than $500 million in annual sales.

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